Motion/Odds (2011-)

Mixed media installation: paper, pencil, pen on board; LCD wide-screen monitor, video (180 minutes) Variable dimensions

The tote board in the Aqueduct horse racing track in New York City serves as a tool of expression in this mixed-media installation. Looped video replays of recorded races shot from a fixed frame are played on a monitor that displays the changing odds of wagers placed before each race.

The camera is an objective recorder of the fluctuating odds, reflecting or tracking the temper and intensity of the group’s betting instincts and preferences. Riding on the wagers are the bettors‘ hopes, biases, faith, tension, and sometimes even urgency. The camera is an impartial witness to a compendium of individual partiality and desires that flicker on the tote board, while other changes and movements demonstrate other forms of physical motion--such as the waving flags, figures of working men, the occasional car hurtling by in the distance, the starting gate being driven across the track on the lower band of the screen, and eventually the horses being prepared by the jockeys and the race itself.

The video recordings are meant to illustrate motion in the form of the fluctuating odds uploaded on the tote board at 30-second intervals and other peripheral movements with the former being a more emotionally charged realm and the latter being another ‘realm of fluctuation’ that simply follow the physical laws of movement in space and time.

I then transferred all the recorded numbers displaying the different variables such as time, odds, wins, and probables into a different format. Each tote board for each race is reconstructed in paper, with the fluctuating numbers all listed on reels of paper that loop either vertically or horizontally and that can be manually moved with attached paper wheels, allowing visitors to manipulate both the physical motion within each paper construction as well as the recorded fluctuation of odds. The sculptural translation into paper of the flickering changes on the screen creates an extension or a rudimentary replication of the recorded motion or fluctuations.

All the numbers on the tote board were replaced and arranged by my hand onto paper as my ‘drawing,’ comprising an exercise that produces another realm of motion.

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Page last modified on July 26, 2011, at 01:31 PM